California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: unpaid wages

California Legislature Mulls New Package Of “Job Killer” Bills

By Anthony J. Oncidi and Nayirie Kuyumjian The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a new raft of recently introduced “job killer” bills that have been proposed in the California Legislature. This year’s list of 27 proposed laws includes measures that would impose additional penalties for an employer’s failure to pay wages; increase the … Continue Reading

Employee Was Properly Awarded $31,000 In Attorney’s Fees On $300 Unpaid Wage Claim

Beck v. Stratton, 9 Cal. App. 5th 483 (2017) Anthony Stratton filed a claim against Thomas Beck with the labor commissioner for unpaid wages in the amount of $303.55. After conducting an administrative hearing, the labor commissioner awarded Stratton $303.50 plus an additional $5,757.46 in liquidated damages, interest and statutory penalties for a total award … Continue Reading

Unpaid Interns Who Are “Primary Beneficiaries” Of The Relationship Are Not Employees Under The FLSA

Glatt et al. v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. et al., 2015 WL 4033018 (2d Cir. 2015) Plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were retained as unpaid interns on the Fox Searchlight-distributed film Black Swan; Plaintiff Eden Antalik interned at Fox Searchlight’s corporate offices in New York City. Glatt and Footman sued for unpaid wages (minimum … Continue Reading

Employer Is Entitled To Recover Its Fees As Prevailing Party In Reporting Time Pay Case

Aleman v. AirTouch Cellular, 209 Cal. App. 4th 556 (2012) Two members of a putative class appealed from a trial court order granting summary judgment against them. The Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment on the ground that the employee was not entitled to receive reporting time pay for attending meetings at work because all … Continue Reading

PAGA Judgment Is Mostly Affirmed In Employee’s Favor

Thurman v. Bayshore Transit Mgmt., Inc., 203 Cal. App. 4th 1112 (2012) Leander Thurman sued Bayshore for alleged violations of the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) and the Unfair Competition Law and, following a bench trial, a judgment was entered imposing civil penalties, including unpaid wages, against Bayshore in the total amount of … Continue Reading

Employee May Not Recover Penalties As Restitution Under Unfair Competition Law

Pineda v. Bank of Am., N.A., 170 Cal. App. 4th 388 (2009) Jorge Pineda filed this class action against Bank of America for unpaid wages and for “waiting-time” penalties under Labor Code § 203. Although Pineda gave the bank two weeks’ advance notice of his resignation, the bank failed to pay him his final pay … Continue Reading

Owners And Managers Cannot Be Held Personally Liable For Wage Violations

Bradstreet v. Wong, 161 Cal. App. 4th 1440 (2008) Toha Quan and Anna Wong owned the capital stock and served as corporate officers or directors of three San Francisco garment manufacturing companies (the “Wins Corporations”). For several months during the summer of 2001, the Wins Corporations failed to meet their payroll obligations, and the owners … Continue Reading

Housekeeper’s Award Of $70,000 For Unpaid Wages Is Affirmed

Gonzalez v. Beck, 158 Cal. App. 4th 598 (2007) Josepha Gonzalez worked as a caregiver and housekeeper for the Beck Family. Upon the termination of her employment, she filed a claim for unpaid wages with the California Labor Commissioner. When the Becks failed to answer or appear at the administrative hearing, Gonzalez obtained an award … Continue Reading

Outside Sales Managers Could Not Proceed With Class Action For Unpaid Overtime

Walsh v. IKON Office Solutions, Inc., 56 Cal. Rptr. 3d 534 (Ct. App. 2007) The trial court in this case initially granted the plaintiffs’ motion to certify a subclass of account managers who had been treated as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. However, almost a year later, a different judge granted IKON’s motion … Continue Reading

Claim For Unpaid Meal Periods Is Subject To Three-Year Statute Of Limitations

Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., 2007 WL 1111233 (Cal. S. Ct. 2007) Former store manager John Paul Murphy sued Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (KCP), a small, upscale retail clothing store, for violations of the wage and hour law, asserting that he was improperly classified as an exempt employee. After resigning his employment, Murphy filed … Continue Reading

Court Refuses To Apply “Look-Back” Statute Of Limitations To Claim For Unpaid Vacation

Church v. Jamison, 143 Cal. App. 4th 1568 (2006) In this action arising from the alleged malpractice of John Church’s attorney, the trial court granted the attorney’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the attorney could not be held liable for legal malpractice because the statute of limitations had not run … Continue Reading

Unionized Employees’ Claims For Unpaid Meal Periods And Rest Breaks Were Not Preempted By Federal Law

Valles v. Ivy Hill Corp., 410 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir. 2005) David Valles and John Breslin sued their employer, the Ivy Hill Corporation, for failing to provide them and other unionized employees with adequate meal periods and rest breaks in violation of the California Labor Code and the applicable wage regulations. In response to the … Continue Reading

Non-Profit Organization’s Motion To Strike Company’s Defamation Action Should Have Been Granted

Fashion 21 v. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, 117 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2004) Fashion 21, a nationwide retailer of women’s clothing, purchased garments from manufacturers and sewing contractors that allegedly exploited their employees by refusing to properly pay them or provide them with clean and safe facilities in which to work. The … Continue Reading

On-Call Employees Who Resided On Site Were Entitled To Overtime Pay

Brigham v. Eugene Water & Elec. Bd., 357 F.3d 931 (9th Cir. 2004) James Brigham and other employees of the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) were stationed at the Carmen Smith Hydroelectric Project, a power generation facility straddling the upper McKenzie River, 70 miles east of Eugene, Oregon, in the Willamette National Forest. Four … Continue Reading

$120 Million Judgment For Unpaid Overtime Upheld In Favor Of Insurance Claims Reps

Bell v. Farmers Ins. Exchange, 115 Cal. App. 4th 715 (2004) Following a jury trial, Farmers Insurance Exchange was ordered to pay a class consisting of 2,402 current and former claims representatives over $90 million in unpaid overtime and over $32 million in prejudgment interest. The claims representatives contended that Farmers had improperly classified them … Continue Reading

Culinary School Instructors Were “Professionals” Exempt From Overtime

California School of Culinary Arts v. Lujan, 112 Cal. App. 4th 16 (2003) The employer, California School of Culinary Arts (CSCA), failed to pay its instructors overtime under Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 4-2001 on the ground that the instructors were subject to the professional exemption of the Wage Order. The California Division of Labor … Continue Reading

Two Companies Constituted A “Single Enterprise” For Purposes Of Calculating Overtime

Chao v. A-One Med. Servs., Inc., 346 F.3d 908 (9th Cir. 2003) The United States Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, brought this lawsuit on behalf of eight former employees of A-One Medical Services, Inc. and Alternative Rehabilitation Home Healthcare, Inc. to recover unpaid overtime payments under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court … Continue Reading

Corporate Agents Were Not Personally Liable For Unpaid Overtime Or Tortious Acts

Reynolds v. Bement, 107 Cal. App. 4th 738 (2003) In this class action lawsuit brought by shop managers and assistant shop managers of Earl Scheib, Inc., the managers asserted that the officers and directors of Earl Scheib were personally liable for unpaid overtime in that they were “employers” within the meaning of Industrial Welfare Commission … Continue Reading
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